Uploaded: Saturday, November 3, 2012, 10:13 PM
Updated: Saturday, November 3, 2012, 10:15 PM
Cardinal women capture NorPac tournament title
|No. 14 Stanford blanked Liberty, 3-0, in the NorPac Championship final on Saturday afternoon, capturing its fifth conference tournament crown in six years and inching closer to its 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.
After the last six NorPac Championship title games resulted in a Stanford-Cal matchup, the Cardinal was faced with a new challenge this year against conference newcomer Liberty, a fast-rising program in only its second year of existence.
The next step is familiar territory for Stanford (15-6, 6-0 NorPac). Because the NorPac Championship winner is not awarded an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal must participate in an NCAA Play-In game on Tuesday, Nov. 6, against the tournament champion from the MAC with a postseason bid on the line.
The stage is now set for a rematch between Stanford and Miami (OH), which defeated Kent State 2-1 earlier in the day in the MAC final. While the NorPac champion was originally designated as the host, the schools have received clearance from the NCAA to play the contest in Farmville, Va., in an effort to minimize travel and expenses. Stanford posted a 3-0 shutout of Miami (OH) back on Sept. 1 in a neutral-site game played in East Lansing, Mich.
So, Stanford will remain on the East Coast, excited to play one more game on the same field in which it just outscored opponents 11-2 over a dominating three-day stretch.
The Cardinal turned in another balanced offensive performance on Saturday, with 10 different players attempting at least one shot. Freshmen Maddie Secco and Lauren Becker scored in the last minute of the first half and first minute of the second half, respectively, while Becky Dru secured tournament MVP honors with an insurance goal in the 57th minute.
Saturday's NorPac Championship felt different from the start. Stanford's 6-2 semifinal victory against California on Friday squashed the possibility of a seventh straight final between the Bay Area programs. Instead, Liberty become only the second East Division program to reach the title game since Radford accomplished the feat in 2003.
After finishing 6-11 as an independent during its inaugural season in 2011, Liberty (16-6, 7-1 NorPac) entered this weekend's tournament as the conference's winningest team. Saturday's loss to the Cardinal snapped a program-best eight-game winning streak.
The first half remained scoreless until the final minute, when Secco received a cross pass from Alex McCawley and fired it into the cage for her sixth goal of the year.
The Cardinal continued its momentum, extending its lead to 2-0 just 29 seconds into the second half. McCawley dished out her second assist, setting up Becker for her sixth goal with a deep pass from the right side.
In the 57th minute, Dru iced the game with her team-leading 11th goal of the year following a textbook penalty corner with assists from Shannon Herold and Hope Burke.
Dulcie Davies registered her seventh shutout of the year, making three saves in goal.
A 25-point cushion proved not to be enough as No. 7 Texas mounted a late rally to top No. 5 Stanford, 151.5-148.5, in women's swimming and diving action Saturday at the Avery Aquatic Center. Texas (3-1) copped two of the top three spots in the 400 free relay to help secure the comeback win.
Texas' A-relay won the final event on the day in 3:19.07, but its B-unit ultimately secured the win with a third-place finish by touching ahead of Stanford's B-unit. A third-place showing by Stanford's B-relay would have given the Cardinal a 150.5-149.5 victory.
The Cardinal fell to 2-1 on the season in dual meets and gets back into the pool at the Ohio State Invitational (Nov. 30-Dec. 2) to wrap up the fall portion of the 2012-13 slate. Stanford's divers will travel to the Arizona Diving Invite (Nov. 16-18).
Stanford got on the board with a win in the 200 medley relay to open the meet. Annemarie Thayer, Katie Olsen, Julia Ama and Maddy Schaefer teamed to go 1:40.83 for the victory.
Andie Taylor (9:56.67) shelved second-place points in the 1,000 free and Maya DiRado (1:48.08) teamed with Andi Murez (1:48.09) for a 1-2 finish in the 200 free.
Thayer (54.39) won the 100 back and Olsen was the highest-finishing Cardinal in the 100 breast, tying for second in 1:01.53.
Kaia Simmons (2:02.82) was second and Kristie Chen (2:02.94) took third in the 200 fly with Schaefer topping the 50 free field in 22.61.
Stephanie Phipps (306.98) was second in the 3-meter event with Lillian Hinrichs (278.18) racking third-place points for the Cardinal. Phipps took second off the 1-meter board with 285.38 points.
Schaefer posted another win in the 100 free (49.36) with Murez (50.15) close behind for second.
DiRado (1:56.70) won the 200 back by more than one second.
Olsen went 2:14.32 and Sarah Haase's 2:14.43 in the 200 breast gave Stanford a 2-3 showing in the event.
The 500 free saw Taylor go 4:54.65 for silver and Sims (56.20) took third one event later in the 100 fly.
DiRado's third individual win came in the 200 individual medley after going 2:00.47.
Stanford's 400 free relay tandem of Murez, Ama, DiRado and Schaefer posted a 3:20.08 for second in the final event on the day.
Men's water polo
The offensive surge continued for No. 3 Stanford men's water polo Saturday as the Cardinal racked its season-high fifth straight win, 18-7 at No. 16 UC Davis.
Stanford (13-4) closes the non-conference weekend with a contest at No. 19 Santa Clara Sunday at 12 p.m.
Four Cardinal players posted hat tricks in the win as Bret Bonnani (six goals), Alex Bowen (four), BJ Churnside (three) and Nick Hoversten (three) accounted for all but two of the day's goals for Stanford. Alex Avery and Travis Noll would account for the other two goals.
Goalie Scott Platshon made 10 saves on the defensive end.
Stanford had a strong showing on the 6-on-5, scoring on four of its six man-up opportunities in addition to converting its only penalty shot. On the other side of the coin, the Cardinal held UC Davis (12-15) to just four power-play goals in 14 attempts.
The Cardinal scored its first three goals in a span of 41 seconds. Hoversten netted the first on the 6-on-5 at 6:14, then added the third at 5:33 to sandwich Churnside's score at the 5:47 mark. A UC Davis timeout after the third goal didn't slow Stanford's momentum as Bonanni got on the scoresheet for the first time just 28 seconds later.
Chris Richardson would score twice for the Aggies through the rest of the period, his goals coming either side of Bonanni's second at 2:25 as Stanford led 5-2 after the opening frame.
Stanford would get the lead up to five at 7-2 and then would lead 7-3 at halftime before putting things to bed in the third period. Seven third-period goals by the Cardinal turned a four-goal halftime lead into a 14-6 advantage as Stanford took control of the match. Two goals from Bonanni along with one apiece from Churnside and Noll spurred a 4-1 run over the period's opening 4:14 that got the Cardinal lead to 11-4.
Four more goals in the fourth period, two from the hand of Bowen, kept the Aggies at bay along with a defensive effort that held UC Davis to just one goal over the final frame.
Stanford opened the season with dual wins over Simpson (44-6), Menlo College (34-6) and Cal Baptist (25-9) on Saturday at the Menlo Duals.
Stanford was led by senior Timmy Boone, junior Bret Baumbach and redshirt freshmen Evan Silver and Michael Sojka, who were all 3-0 on the afternoon. Juniors Donovan Halpin (1-0), Garrett Schaner (2-0) and Dan Scherer (2-0), and sophomore Brendan Ter Wee (1-0) and true freshman Dylan Morris (1-0) were all undefeated for the Cardinal as well.
At 125 pounds, Silver picked up a win by forfeit against Simpson and two major decisions. Against Menlo's Edgar Paez, Silver posted a 10-2 major decision. He also recorded an 11-2 major decision over Cal Baptist's Taylor Hall.
Wrestling for the Cardinal at 133 pounds was true freshman Peter Russo. He secured his first collegiate win with a fall in 1:47 over Simpson's Hayden Zimmerman. Russo then dropped a 6-2 decision to Menlo's Angel Garcia and an 8-2 decision versus Alex Annunciation of Cal Baptist.
Sophomore Josh Lauderdale finished 2-1 for the Cardinal at 141 pounds. He picked up a 7-1 decision over Efren Rodriguez of Simpson and an 11-6 decision against Gustavo Lopez of Menlo College.
Boone, who won by forfeit against Simpson, scored bonus points for Stanford in each dual. He picked up a 15-0 technical fall in 5:00 over Christian Franks of Menlo College. He wrapped up the afternoon with a 10-2 major decision against Cal Baptist's Dylan Cataline.
Haplin and Schaner each saw action at 157 pounds for the Cardinal. Halpin posted a 7-4 decision against Anthony Vega of Simpson. Schaner collected a 17-1 technical fall in 5:30 against Menlo's Adam Obad and a 6-0 decision over Paul Miller of Cal Baptist.
Baumbach secured a 15-0 technical fall in 7:00 against Simpson's Richie Ortiz. He followed up with a 7-5 decision over Eric Lopez of Menlo College, and wrapped up an undefeated afternoon with a 9-0 major decision against Cal Baptist's Anthony Ballinger.
Morris posted a fall in 1:44 against Brady Beamon of Simpson at 174 pounds for his first career win. Another true freshman, Thomas Kimbrell, finished the afternoon 1-1 at 174 pounds.
At 184 pounds, junior Alan Yen was 1-1 on the day. He picked up his win in a 5-3 decision against Paul Head of Cal Baptist.
Sojka, who picked up a forfeit win against Simpson, posted a fall in 4:45 over Logan Winterton of Menlo College at 197 pounds. He finished the day with a 14-3 major decision against Cal Baptist's David Dill.
At heavyweight, Ter Wee secured a 3-1 decision against Austin Lobsinger of Simpson. Scherer then registered a 12-4 major decision over Menlo's Justin Harrison. He ended the day with a 3-2 decision against Zach Merrill of Cal Baptist.
Up next, Stanford will meet 11th-ranked Northwestern in its home opener on Friday. The Cardinal and Wildcats will square off at 6:30 p.m. in Burnham Pavilion.
— Stanford Athletics
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